Saturday, November 07, 2009

At The T-Junction

there are times
when you stand alone
all you thought you had is smoke
your dreams have reached a dead-end
and your buoyant step is stilled
there are times
when you don’t stop to listen
your decisions are a slap in the face
and it’s time to live by the choices you have made
there are times
when you reach the cross-roads
you are torn between family and self
wearied by your own knowledge
vexed by the wisdom of sages
there are times
when all you have
is the lane you choose to take
and you realize that your journey is dictated
not by signs at the intersection
but by the decisions
y ou are constantly making

©PoP 6th Nov 09

Friday, October 02, 2009

Paper Walls

How

Could we leave

We, who lived in paper houses

Whose hearts fear firmly gripped

 How

Could we leave

The ones we buried in shallow graves

Those children born of sadness

Fed only on their mother’s grief

 How

Could we believe

In promises filled with gaping holes

Where would we go

We who live

In a country made of paper walls

 

©PoP 2 Oct 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Politician

Politician

 

He sang when we sang

Rotund belly defying gravity’s pull

He cried with us, in the rubble of our burnt shacks

She held our babies, wiped their drippy noses

He sang our songs and listened to our stories

She even prayed with us, in front of our shanties and plastic houses

We believed him when he said he’d be back

He’d be back with warm blankets, utensils and food

With shoes, old mattresses and second hand clothes

Donations from kind-hearted ones

We saw her on the black and white televisions in shop windows

We saw him soliciting for our cause

Tears dangling precariously from her eyes

We waited

We knew she would come

We waited

Hoping this time he wouldn’t backtrack

On this promise, like he had numerous times

We waited…

PoP

18 Sep. 09

Speak not…

My poetry is written in dark ink

On paper as black as the woolly night

She lies painfully in my belly, head down

I scream, I heave and bear down

I curse. I pray and heave some more

She’s tearing me apart.  I scream.

Written in blood, each word painfully carved

I’m painless, passionless, endless

I am blood and bone

I’m lonely, alone.  All feeling is gone

My eyes can no longer see

This dark night mocks me

 PoP

18 Sep. 09

Friday, March 27, 2009

African Woman

Dark as the favourite cooking pot
Strong as the river rock scorched by the African sun
Wise as the stars in a darkened sky
Beautiful, where only God can see

She’s trudged for miles on hardened soles
Her skin, from pale to a near dark-blue
She’s laughed with each new birth
Cried when life sunk back to the Giver’s womb

Brown like the chocolatey earth
Her sunken cheeks a sign
Of sages whispering age old wisdom
And years of culture and tradition

She’s raised freedom fighters
The blood of a people’s freedom runs in her veins
She’s held back her own aspirations
To nurse her children and feed her nation

Fair, like the bark of the African teak
Cheeks wrinkled with laughter lines
Swing of wide hips that have birthed giants
Smiles tease the milk-white teeth behind kind lips

She’s walked where many don’t dare tread
And sat up nights wiping fever-chilled brows
She’s bent from years of carrying food, wood, children
Her fingers and toes are extensions of the earth

African woman
Applause alone will not do
Praise alone will not do
Ululations surely will not do

African woman,
She carries the world in her bosom
She balances the sun on her head
She supervises the rise and fall of the moon

We recognize you!
We recognize you, African woman

PoP 27 M ar 03

Monday, February 23, 2009

Precipice

I recognize this place
I have been here before
This place of muffled sounds
Unspoken words
And feelings unfelt

I taste the scent of deceit
Waiting to be unleashed
Of words born
Then violently killed
Smoldering and leaving hazy ash

I see threats
In expressionless eyes
Changing visions
And dreams like rain
Falling from the sky

I know this place
Where words
Clutch your throat like a vice
And thoughts of peace
Are poisons
Suffocating the mind

I recognize this place
One time
I stood upon this very precipice

PoP – 24 Jan 09

Backward Glance

I could tell
From
The uncertainty in your smile
The shadow in your eyes
Each forced ‘I love you too’

Innumerable private trips
Hushed up voices
Clandestine calls
Short text messages
Read and quickly erased
Long days at the office
Silences at home

My gut twisted and turned
Filled with bile
Every touch, moan,
Each horny groan
Every look
Each word you spoke
Reverberated
False! False!

Then the test
Of my loyalty
My stupidity
Positive! Positive!
Of your deceit
Your illicit affair
Positive! Positive!
Of my love
Sick
Lying putrefying at your feet

PoP
23 Feb. 09